Panettone boxes

Arnout van Albada, 2006

Panettone boxes

Arnout van Albada (Groningen, NL, 1968), Groningen, NL

The edibles painted by Arnout van Albada would seem to be randomly selected: a dangling sausage, a small wooden container of apricots or a stalk of rhubarb on a white tablecloth. Yet they are the product of an in-depth creative process. Indeed, Van Albada has to fall in love with his subject. As the painting progresses, he tries to get closer to the object's essence. The low vantage point creates a sense of the monumental. This effect is heightened by the empty, non-distracting background. To Van Albada, it is ultimately all about beauty and simplicity: “You shouldn't over-interpret my paintings“, he insists.

Van Albada’s penchant for the small and personal is plainly visible in this painting of panettone boxes in three different sizes. The artist's quest for what makes these sweet bread loafs originally from Milan so special led him almost straightaway to their angular boxes. “That box is architecture to my eyes”, says Van Albada. He creates a certain suspense by his use of different materials and the way the boxes face. To Albada, a work of art has to be timeless to be a true success. By situating the boxes outside a specific time and place, Van Albada refers, perhaps unintentionally, to the recipe for panettone which has remained the same generation after generation.

1988-1993: Minerva Academy of Fine Arts, Groningen, NL

About this object

Arnout van Albada

Panettone boxes


oil and egg tempera on panel

35 x 110 cm (47 x 122 cm)

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